İbrahim Kaboğlu, a professor of constitutional law who was fired by a state of emergency decree on Feb. 7, 2017, said the commission established by the government to hear appeals of people dismissed from their jobs under emergency rule has tuned into the “gas chamber” of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Cumhuriyet reported on Thursday.
The State of Emergency Procedures Investigation Commission was established by a decree-law issued on Jan. 23, 2017 to allow civil servants to appeal legal action taken against them under the state of emergency and accepts complaints regarding dismissal from the civil service, jobs or organizations; dismissal from university and the loss of student status; the closure of associations, organizations, unions, federations, confederations, private health institutions, private education institutions, private institutions of higher education, private radio and TV organizations, newspapers and magazines, news agencies, publication houses and distribution channels; and the loss of retiree ranking.
“The commission will be able to finish handling the applications in seven to eight years. You will get the opportunity to go to court. Some people will die in the meantime, while some will stay. Families and children will become miserable. This is worse than civil death. There are some rules even in the enmity law, but doesn’t resemble that. The State of Emergency Procedures Investigation Commission has turned into a kind of gas chamber of the palace [of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] and the AKP government. They put you [dismissed people] there,” Kaboğlu said to Cumhuriyet in an exclusive interview.
Adding that he has been waiting for a decision from the commission for eight months, Kaboğlu said: “In the meantime the president recommended to those who were dismissed by decree to eat the leaves of trees.”
Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants through government decrees issued as part of an ongoing state of emergency declared after a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
Constitutional law professor Kaboğlu also criticized the İstanbul 26th and 13th High Criminal Courts’ decisions on Jan. 11 not to comply with a ruling from the Constitutional Court for the release of jailed journalists Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan.
“If I were them [Constitutional Court members], I would resign and file a criminal complaint,” said Kaboğlu.
Turkey has fallen to 101st place out of 113 countries in the World Justice Project’s 2017-18 Rule of Law Index, a comprehensive measure of adherence to the rule of law.
The European Union on Feb. 2 expressed concern about recent judicial developments in Turkey, urging Ankara to ensure the rule of law. “Concrete and lasting improvements in the area of rule of law and fundamental freedoms remain essential to the prospects of EU-Turkey relations,” said the EU.
A total of 62,895 people were detained in 2017 as part of investigations into the faith-based Gülen movement, according to Interior Ministry reports. The Gülen movement is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding the coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The movement strongly denies any involvement.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Jan. 5 that 48,305 people were jailed in 2017 alone over the movement links.
Soylu said on Dec. 12 that 55,665 people have been jailed and 234,419 passports have been revoked as part of investigations into the movement since the failed coup.
On Nov. 16 Soylu had said eight holdings and 1,020 companies were seized as part of operations against the movement.